The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska’s casino in Carter Lake—a city in Pottawattamie County, Iowa, and a suburb of Omaha, Nebraska—will open at noon on November 1. Phase 1 of the 9,500-square-foot Prairie Flower Casino, open 24/7, covers 5 acres of land and features 200 slot machines as well as food and entertainment—a full-service bar and a snack bar. Next phases of expansion are still undecided, Jimmy Centers, a tribal spokesman, told omaha.com.
Named for the daughter of Standing Bear, a 19th century Ponca chief, Prairie Flower Casino honors the young woman who passed away during the tribe’s 1877 Trail of Tears.
Her father gained notoriety two years later, arguing before the U.S. District Court proceeding in Omaha that Native Americans must be identified as “persons within the meaning of the law.” Before that, they were not.
“Our people lost not only land and holdings, but our culture and language, because of forced assimilation,” said Tribal Chairman Larry Wright Jr. “This will go a long way towards helping and bridging those gaps.”
“Casinos aren’t a panacea, but they’ll help us to diversify and be self-sustaining,” Wright added, in an interview with omaha.com.